Help Hajar Press to Keep Publishing!

by Hajar Press in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

Help Hajar Press to Keep Publishing!

Total raised £12,942

raised so far



Hajar Press is an indie publishing house run by and for people of colour. Please help us raise money so we can keep doing what we do!

by Hajar Press in London, Greater London, United Kingdom

We're still collecting donations

On the 31st May 2023 we'd raised £12,647 with 344 supporters in 41 days. But as every pound matters, we're continuing to collect donations from supporters.


Hajar Press is an independent political publishing house by and for people of colour. At a time when the publishing industry is riven with structural problems while many movements on the left are suffering from a failure of imagination, Hajar aims to challenge, connect and inspire readers to dare to dream of another world and build it together.

When we founded the press in 2020, we wanted it to outlive us: a tribute to our ancestors and a gift for our children. But Hajar took off beyond what we could ever have expected. In our early phone calls throughout the first Covid lockdown, we could never have known that less than three years later, we’d have published ten outstanding books and hosted events across the country. The response to our work has overwhelmed us and proven the profound need for a press like Hajar, but we need support to be able to carry on doing what we can to answer that need.



Since April 2021, Hajar has brought out ten incredible books, with many more in the pipeline. We pour an immense amount of labour and love into every publication so that each is a glimmering, carefully crafted work. More importantly, our titles learn from and speak to each other to build a whole list that coheres as a gorgeous constellation of revolutionary literature.

Lola Olufemi’s Experiments in Imagining Otherwise, published in 2021, sold through its first print run in less than a month and remains a consistent bestseller at London’s independent bookshops a year and a half later. Brick by Brick by Cradle Community has catalysed a growing conversation on prison abolition in the UK. Heba Hayek’s debut collection, Sambac Beneath Unlikely Skies, was chosen as a 2021 Book of the Year by numerous publications, including The White Review, and went on to win a Palestine Book Award.

These are just some of the books we have published so far, and there is so much more that we want to do next.

Hajar has also become a project that does more than simply publish books. Here are a few of the ways that a community has already begun to blossom around our work:

  • Despite Brexit and soaring international shipping costs, our books have been sold in bookshops across the world, in cities like Paris, Jerusalem, Barcelona, Berlin, Milan, Oslo, Minneapolis and Miami, to name just a few.
  • We are currently working on a distribution partnership with comrades in the US to ensure that our titles are accessible to readers across North America.
  • Our events are electric—from appearances by our authors at the most exciting literary festivals to an inspiring launch for Experiments in Imagining Otherwise at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, a tour of Edinburgh’s bookstores to launch Mohamed Tonsy’s You Must Believe in Spring, a curated event series on the theme of childhood, a packed summer party at Café Oto and numerous literary salons at Reference Point.
  • Quotes from Sambac Beneath Unlikely Skies and Yara Hawari’s The Stone House were transformed into beautiful billboards designed by Farah Fayyad as part of a three-week walking exhibition around London in partnership with Shubbak Festival.
  • In 2021, we partnered with MFest to run a short story competition for unagented, unpublished Muslim writers of colour. The competition led us to sign publishing contracts with two brilliant new writers, Saima Begum and Mohamed Tonsy.
  • Our readers have been building their own communities around our list. It has been moving to see excerpts from Hajar books read at picket lines, teach-outs, parties, fundraisers, reading groups and more.



While the successes of the last few years have been exhilarating, they also came at a personal cost. Our labour to run the press so far has been unpaid or underpaid, and behind the scenes, we have consistently been burnt out. We set out to cultivate a space for our communities that flickers with possibility and beauty amidst the harshness of our present world, and what has grown out of this is something magical. We want to keep it going, but we know that we can only do so if we work sustainably.

Predictably, hand-wringing about a lack of ‘diversity in publishing’ and promises of ‘structural change’ in the industry at the beginning of the pandemic have failed to bear fruit. Hajar’s work to publish writing that is beautiful and revolutionary is as needed today as ever. The urgency of our mission has never been tied to trends of profitability, and it must be supported and sustained even when the commercial buzz about anti-racism loses steam.

As we seek to challenge large systemic issues, it’s often forgotten that we face the brunt of these problems ourselves. In an industry dominated by conglomerates, all indie presses are having a hard time getting by, even as we’re trying to change that picture. While the largest publishers can work at scale and therefore more cheaply, indies across the board must navigate high unit costs and cash flow problems, especially amidst recent surges in the costs of printing and shipping.

At the same time, as workers and individuals, we are struggling under the same increasingly punishing and oppressive political and economic conditions as the communities that we are trying our best to serve. In the midst of a debilitating cost-of-living crisis, a project as meaningful and important as Hajar cannot be sustained on all-consuming, unpaid labour.



We’re taking steps to make sure we’re looking after ourselves at work so that we can keep Hajar going. We’ve expanded our team, slowed down our publishing schedule, and made a commitment to fair pay for our labour. Hajar has always relied on one team member’s full-time labour and regular work at anti-social hours by other staff, and this labour must be fairly remunerated and shared for the project to be able to go on.

This is why we need your help.

Please donate so that Hajar can continue building our community of writers and readers, bringing people together to explore all the ways we can imagine otherwise, and how we can work collectively to turn those ideas into a movement that ushers in a future full of possibility for us all.

The space for independent media that speaks truth to power is shrinking. Hajar plays a critical role in a flourishing scene of independent publishers, carving out an anti-racist space for writers to create freely and to bring their work into the public realm.

But without sustained support from our communities, organisations like ours cannot survive.


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Limited-edition Hajar Press tote bag in indigo and yellow.

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